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Can a federal official be impeached and convicted after he has resigned or otherwise left office? (For example, could the impeachment of President Nixon have proceeded after his resignation? Or could Hillary Clinton be impeached now for crimes committed while she was Secretary of State?)

If the answer is no, then at what point in the process can an impeachment be thwarted by resigning? It seems unreasonable that the culprit should be able to escape the harsher penalty of disqualification from holding office in the future, by resigning just before the result of the vote to convict is announced in the Senate.

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  • You cannot be removed from office that you no longer hold. Nixon resigned from his office before the impeachment vote was held. The vote to remove (trial through senat) can also be thwarted. Whether a further vote for disqualification can be held has not been tested/tried and thus is unknown. Commented Nov 9, 2019 at 15:34
  • @MarkJohnson whether a separate vote for disqualification can be held is well established for judicial impeachments, where such votes have been held and convicted parties duly disqualified, and there is no reason to suspect it would be any different for a presidential impeachment.
    – phoog
    Commented Nov 11, 2019 at 9:27
  • @phoog Sources claim that the second part (disqualification) of Clause 7 may not be done if the first part (removel) has not been executed. Since it has never happened it is not tested. : Clause 7. Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States; Commented Nov 11, 2019 at 9:49
  • @phoog this is in context: president resigned before convection ; first part is the mute, since he can no longer be removed ; can second part then take place since the conviction had not taken place? Some claim no, others it not clear since it has never happened. Commented Nov 11, 2019 at 9:55
  • @MarkJohnson I see. I misunderstood the context of the sentence I was responding to. Yes, it seems likely that the resignation would forestall the Senate vote and therefore the disqualification could not be effected. That has indeed never been tested (at least to my knowledge).
    – phoog
    Commented Nov 11, 2019 at 19:15

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